Maggie Nelson shares a first look at her follow-up to The Argonauts

Seija Rankin
·2 min read

Maggie Nelson has written nine books covering everything from murder trials to cultural criticism, but it was her 2015 tome The Argonauts that brought her work to the masses in every sense of the word. Since its publication, she's received a MacArthur fellowship (casual!) and been hard at work on her follow-up book. On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint is a nonfiction work that examines freedom in the realms of art, sex, drugs, and climate.

Below, EW has exclusive first details of the book, straight from the author herself — starting with the cover:

In honor of her forthcoming book, Nelson also answered all our burning book questions, telling us about everything from her early writing memories to what we can expect from On Freedom.

What is the first thing — ever — that you remember writing?
A fourth-grade report called "Cats Galore!" I still have fond feelings toward the word galore.

What is the last book that made you cry?
Everything makes me cry these days. My No Prep Slow Cooker cookbook made me cry yesterday.

Which book is at the top of your current To-Read list?
I am about to re-read Herve Guibert's To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life, which I adore, in order to write an introduction for it.

Where do you write?
In my office, preferably. But also, wherever.

Which book made you a forever reader?
No single book. I think you either are a forever reader or you're not.

What is a snack you couldn't write without?
Tea. But to stay a writer I think you have to be willing to go without most anything.

What is your favorite part of On Freedom?
Its dedication.

What was the hardest element to write?
I found it hard, initially, to immerse myself in the material about the climate. But I was better off for doing so.

Write a movie poster tagline for On Freedom:
Sick to death of being hectored about freedom or obligation? Pause here awhile and give yourself time to think it through.

Related content: